Will GOP Be Ready for Obama Onslaught?
If Illinois Sen. Barack Obama becomes either the presidential or vice-presidential nominee for the Democrat Party, expect left-wing racial demagoguery against the Republican Party to be unleashed as never before.
The Democrat Party and the mainstream press will launch an effort unprecedented in its intensity to secure a victory for a ticket featuring Obama. Not only is Obama the most charismatic "main-event level" liberal figure since Bill Clinton, he offers the Democrats an opportunity to once and for all destroy any chance the GOP has of appealing to black voters.
As the press has frequently noted over the past few days, Obama is the first African-American presidential candidate with a legitimate chance of being on a winning ticket. The Democrats see in Obama a man who can not only keep loyal Democrats on board, but also someone who can reach out to politically apathetic Americans, particularly Americans of color.
There are many non-whites in America who aren’t particularly interested in politics, but who would love to see a candidate of color break through what they view as the ultimate "glass ceiling." Much like Massachusetts Democrat Deval Patrick, who received the support of thousands of previously unregistered nonwhite voters in his successful bid to become the state’s first black governor, Obama could encourage millions of previously nonvoting minorities to help him make history.
In addition, Obama, like Patrick, could capture the imagination of white voters who feel that it is long overdue for candidates of color to have "a place at the table." There are many non-ideological whites who happen to believe that America’s racial wounds will never be healed until nonwhites have a presence at the highest levels of the private and public sector. So many "glass ceilings" have been broken in the American corporate realm that it’s no longer news. A person of color becoming either president or vice president would not only be news, it will also be a confirmation in the minds of these non-ideological white voters of America’s fundamental fairness.
The left and the press will do whatever it takes to ensure an Obama victory. Reporters will write stories implying that an Obama victory is an essential step on the road to racial equality. Major newspapers will write editorials pointing out that, if Obama wins during the year marking the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, it will be a sign that his dream is finally becoming reality. The nightly news broadcasts will run features about Republicans who have decided to cross party lines to back Obama.
In addition, every race-based controversy involving the GOP will be dredged up, highlighted, recycled and replayed. The media and the left will pound the electorate over the head with every action that can be characterized as red-state racial hate—from Barry Goldwater’s libertarian objection to the 1964 Civil Rights Act to Trent Lott’s "botched joke" about Strom Thurmond. The GOP will be characterized as the largest hate group in the United States, the party of Katrina, the party of oppression, the party of the water hose and the police dog. The Republican Party will be depicted as a demon-possessed entity–and the electorate will be told that the only way to exorcise those demons is by affirming their faith in the supposed savior, Barack Obama.
The GOP must be prepared for this obnoxious onslaught. The party must stand ready to defend its record on race. The Republicans must remind the electorate of its accomplishments: the appointment of the first black Secretary of State and the first black female Secretary of State, the selection of the most diverse Cabinet in U.S. history, the empowerment of communities of color through faith-based initiatives, the greatest movement of blacks into the middle class (during Ronald Reagan’s two terms). In 2008, the Republicans cannot let the mainstream press and the Democrat Party rewrite history—because if they do, the GOP will be history.